Drury’s Board of Trustees Approves Event Center Construction

For immediate release: April 14

Contact:
Dr. Edsel Matthews
Vice-President for Athletics and Special Projects
Office: (417) 873-6896
Mobile: (417) 838-4088
E-mail: ematthews@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 14, 2009 — Drury University has met the $1 million Mabee Foundation challenge grant, and the Drury Board of Trustees has approved going forward with construction of the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Construction will begin as soon as possible with a goal of opening the facility in the fall of 2010. The O’Reilly Family Event Center will host major Drury University and special community events and will be the home of the Panther and Lady Panther basketball and volleyball teams.

“This is a bold statement that Drury is not afraid to invest in its future even in these uncertain economic times and is a tribute to the confidence of our donor base,” says Todd Parnell, Drury’s president.

The event center will seat 3,100 spectators with the ability to expand to around 3,600 seats for concerts and special events. Killian Construction of Springfield will build the arena for $10.5 million. The arena’s total cost will be approximately $13.5 million.

The fundraising effort is anchored by a $6 million dollar pledge from the O’Reilly family of Springfield. In addition, Drury has developed a 20-year agreement with CoxHealth. Through this partnership, CoxHealth will provide sports medicine services by fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons to Drury athletes. Drury and its donors will pay for the entire arena.

The event center will be built at minimum to Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications. LEED certification means the building will meet certain environmental standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The construction of the O’Reilly Family Event Center also provides the opportunity to plan for a new student fitness center. Fundraising will continue for both projects until fully funded by pledges and gifts.

A ceremonial groundbreaking will take place during the Board of Trustees meeting in mid-May.

Media: Dr. Edsel Matthews, vice president for athletics and special projects, will be available for interviews in Weiser Gymnasium from 2:30-4 p.m. today, April 14.
A video presentation of the future event center can be seen on the Drury athletics webpage.

###

Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.